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Sycultour

Maize 'Dorotea' farming

The Dorotea maize is an old variety of maize which has been rediscovered and now is the focus of a group of 50 amateur farmers.

Description

In 2005, in the context of the renovation of the site of Mulini di Ronco Cainari, a group of voluntaries has been formed (30 people), employed in the re-introduction of the corn cultivation in the Vanoi Valley. Thanks to a survey made among local elderlies (witnesses of the old crops of the valley), it has been possible to identify the local variety, rescue the seed (called Dorotea) and collect in a disciplinary the culture procedures. Nowadays the group is composed by 50 amateur farmers, who crop small amounts of land for their own consumption. From 2010 a bread-making with corn flour has been experimented, revisiting old recipes.

Responsibility

Vanoi Ecomuseum

Role

Once the most sunny and flat territories of the Vanoi Valley were cultivated with corn in order to produce corn flour for 'Polenta' (a plate made with flour and water, which was used as bread). There are some pictures of the first decades of 900 which witness wide cultivations at the bottom of the valley. The project of rescue of the local variety and the motivations which led the group to try the cultivation range from the enhancement and qualification of one of the most present, used and typical food of the local food tradition: Polenta; to the collection of data information, and witnesses, of the production chain, once fundamental for the nourishment of the local community; to the enlarged reflection on the actual neglected condition of the fields surrounding the villages and the consequent change of the landscape of the valley. Local importance.

Potential usability

The quantities of corn actually produced do not allow a commercial use of the flour. An enlargement of the group or the field expansion could bring about a starting up of a small production chain 0 Km (directly from the producer to the consumer), which should be able to offer the flour for Polenta for the restaurants and local agriturs or for the food stands during the local rural fairs. The Dorotea variety is good for the processing into flour of the cereal, but also to be utilized for soups and for the cob to be grilled, when it is not yet mature. At the beginning the project analysed the entire production chain, showing the secondary products potentials (for example the craftsmanship of the leaves around the cob = 'bratte'), the preservation of architectonical elements, once with the scope of drying and storage of cobs, the possibility of boosting the crafts production of objects relevant for the consumption of Polenta (chopping boards, knives) and become, as it was once, a pretext for convivial moments and meeting opportunity for the community and for its visitors (the gathering for the defoliation, shelling, milling and then the 'first Polenta' of the year as final product).


ZRC SAZU
CTRIA HCC RoT Občina Jesenice CMS PAT PRA UNSPMF Chamber of Economy of Vojvodina